How to reduce stress at work

How to reduce stress at work - Career Advice

Everybody deals with work related stress on daily basis. This can crush your motivation and interfere in your social life. Most people don’t have an appropriate way of dealing with stress which can cause serious damage to your mental and physical health. Understanding and controlling stress is the key to coping with it.

What is stress?

From a psychological point of view, stress is a feeling of being under pressure. In small amounts it can benefit you, and it’s even desired in some situations. It can be motivating and it can improve your performance by increasing productivity. However, too much stress is unhealthy for your body and mind. It can cause lots of different symptoms, including insomnia, sweating, frequent colds and low energy.

Is your stress caused by the type of work you do?

This is the first question you have to ask yourself. If this is the case, that means you’re stressed every second of your work day. But if you’re not, then this is not the problem. Think about what is really causing your stress. Is it the low salary? Or is it someone you work with? Maybe your boss is simply expecting too much from you? All of this are common sources of work related stress. First step of dealing with stress is knowing what is causing it.

Ways to deal with stress

  1. Exercise – this is one of the best ways of dealing with stress. Exercise helps you free your mind and it makes you see things more clearly. It’s also good for your body after spending a day behind a desk. So instead of going home and complain how stressful your day was, you can go to the gym, or jogging, or swimming. You can even use your break at work and go for a walk.
  2. Talk to someone – people are social beings. They need support from others, it is in our nature. Talking to a friend about your problems at work can be relieving, and you will realize that they too deal with work stress. Making friends with your coworkers is also a very good strategy because, chances are, they are dealing with the same stuff you do.
  3. Relax – there are many ways in which you can relax your body and mind. You can meditate, do yoga, or any other activity that relaxes you. A good way to meditate is to simply think about something that makes you calm and happy, for example, swimming in the ocean or hiking in the mountains.
  4. Speak out –a common belief is that you’re supposed to blindly follow what your boss tells you to do. This is not the case. You should determine how much work you can take on. By having too much work on your hands you might end up doing none of it well. If you’re too busy and your boss keeps giving you more work you can say no. Make sure you give him a good reason why you can’t do what he asks you, and offer him another solution. Communication is the key to a healthy work environment.
  5. Break bad habits – first of all, get enough sleep. An average person needs about 8 hours of sleep. This is important because if you show up to work already exhausted you won’t be able to function properly. Also, being late for work causes a lot of stress because you’re naturally overthinking the consequences of your actions. Try showing up 10-20 minutes earlier so you can slowly ease into your day. And finally, resist perfectionism. No project is ever perfect, so trying to make everything perfect will just add unnecessary stress to your day. Try setting realistic goals for yourself and don’t try to control the uncontrollable.


Although it is almost guaranteed that work will sometimes cause you stress, following these steps can help you keep that stress at a minimum level and help you live your life healthy.

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